Biagi F., Pesole A., Stančik J. (2016).

Modes of ICT Innovation: Evidence from the Community Innovation Survey. JRC Science for Policy Report, European Commission.




This report was prepared in the context of the three-year research project on European Innovation Policies for the Digital Shift (EURIPIDIS) jointly launched in 2013 by JRC-IPTS and DG CONNECT of the European Commission. This project aims to improve understanding of innovation in the ICT sector and ICT-enabled innovation in the rest of the economy. In the context of the EURIPIDIS project, this report analyses innovative activities by ICT producing firms and provides evidence on innovative activity of the ICT sector, compared to the overall economy. This analysis, based on a set of different indicators, aims at providing a deeper understanding of the modes of innovation adopted by ICT producing firms. In order to do so, we created a panel dataset matching the information collected by different Community Innovation Survey (CIS) waves from 2004 up to 2012 in twenty EU Member States and we investigated the major innovation patterns comparing the ICT sector to the whole economy. The main findings show that, in general, firms in the ICT sector tend to innovate more with respect to the total economy: both the shares of innovators and technological innovators are consistently higher within the ICT sector than in the total economy. Moreover, the ICT sector is characterized by a higher share of innovative firms performing R&D and a higher share of Framework Programme funded innovative firms. In order to capture the modes of innovation of ICT producing firms, we used “complex” indicators that condense information from more than one measure and allow making multi-dimensional phenomena uni-dimensional. These complex indicators indicate that the share of international and domestic innovators is higher among ICT firms than among the whole economy. In other words, ICT firms tend to have a higher than average in-house R&D capability and to be more likely to introduce new-to-the market product or process innovations in both international and domestic markets. Looking at international or domestic “modifiers” (i.e. firms that mainly adopt and/or modify innovation made by others) we do not find evidence that -relative to the average firm- ICT producing firms are more likely to modify or adopt innovations developed elsewhere.